Asked by Antonette Beatty Animal BehaviorAccents and Dialects
Do animals have accents?
December 12, 2019 5:36PM
Yes, some animals do vocalize differently based on where they’re from. Scientists believe this is related to forming a group identity.
Some cool examples of this phenomenon:
- Caribbean sperm whales use a pattern of sounds no other group of whales uses, and pilot whales’ noises differ more between groups than within them.
- In one study, bats raised in a lab with their mothers were exposed to a different subset of bat vocalizations through speakers. Instead of just imitating their mothers, the baby bats developed an “accent” more similar to the sounds they heard on the speakers.
- Although they have a pretty limited set of bleats, goats have been shown to modify their calls based on their social surroundings.
So yeah, animal communications can develop regional differences just like human speech.